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By: ArchGenius, Marcus Rehnberg
May 06 2010 12:29am
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(Red Green is a favorite of mine)

I'm a man...

but I can change... 

If I have to...

I guess...

It's hard to change.  It's even harder to WANT to change.  I've been playing this game for about half my life and I reached a plateau in my abilities a long time ago.  I love this game, it's a challenge, it's fun, it's a nice diversion from life's little difficulties like paying bills and taking out the trash.  I know I don't want to be a Pro Tour player.  I don't have that kind of time, and I already have a nice job, but I do want to be better.  I like writing about formats like 100 singleton, but I don't have the credentials to back it up.  Therefore I've straddled the line between casual and competitive tournament player.  But I no longer think that's good enough.  Whenever I've had free time on the weekend, which is extremely rare, I've played in the 100 Classic Singleton Weekend Challenges.  I have nothing but a long string of 3-2 finishes with the occasional 3-3 finish and one 2-3 finish.  I've made more tickets than I've lost on those weekend challenges, but I'm still looking for a top 8 prize.  The major difficulty at the moment is finding the weekend challenge that fits my schedule, but there are a lot of other things that I have been doing to improve my game. 

This article is my attempt to put to words my struggle with facing some of my more egregious errors.  I've spent the last month trying to improve my game, play better, increase my rating, and qualify for MOCS for the first time.  Hopefully, my struggles at improving can help others who want to improve.

Months ago I wrote an article on playing goblins in 100 Classic Singleton. Here it is for reference http://puremtgo.com/articles/100-singleton-all-about-goblins Since then I've used an updated version the red white deck from that article as my standard 100 Classic Singleton deck.  Found below is the version of that deck I used about a month ago.  Glance it over and see if you can find any obvious deckbuilding mistakes in this deck.  There are several and I will talk about them throughout this article.

Boros Goblins
100 Classic Singleton Deck by Shuyin Knight of Zanarkand
Creatures
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Kor Firewalker
1 Goblin Lackey
1 Greater Gargadon
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Plated Geopede
1 Weathered Wayfarer
1 Goblin Guide
1 Imperial Recruiter
1 Goblin Warchief
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Boartusk Liege
1 Skirk Prospector
1 Murderous Redcap
1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
1 Vexing Shusher
1 Brion Stoutarm
1 Arc-Slogger
1 Ranger of Eos
1 Goblin Matron
1 Sparksmith
1 Goblin Ruinblaster
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Frenzied Goblin
1 Goblin Recruiter
1 Boggart Ram-Gang
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Goblin Chieftain
1 Goblin Bushwhacker
1 Warren Instigator
1 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Gathan Raiders
1 Goblin King
1 Goblin Legionnaire
1 Magus of the Scroll
1 Goblin Ringleader
1 Mogg War Marshal
1 Goblin Piledriver
1 Flametongue Kavu
39 cards

Other Spells
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Lightning Helix
1 Chain Lightning
1 Violent Eruption
1 Seal of Fire
1 Land Tax
1 Path to Exile
1 Incinerate
1 Ajani Vengeant
1 Chrome Mox
1 Flame Jab
1 Tithe
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Tarfire
1 Flame Javelin
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Orim's Thunder
1 Char
1 Fireblast
1 Seismic Assault
1 Fire/Ice
1 Magma Jet
1 AEther Vial
1 Burst Lightning
25 cards
 
Lands
1 Windswept Heath
11 Mountain
1 Thawing Glaciers
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Flooded Strand
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Arid Mesa
1 Karakas
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Rugged Prairie
1 Wasteland
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Keldon Megaliths
1 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Ghitu Encampment
1 Mutavault
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Goblin Burrows
1 Plateau
1 Marsh Flats
2 Plains
36 cards

Lightning Helix

 

 

   
Terramorphic Expanse

 

 

Deckbuilding

(pic=Ponder)

     

I've always placed some personal value on having an original deck.  I've never copied a deck from the internet without making a few changes just so I can call it my own.  This is a mistake.  While having a unique and rogue deck is nice and a source of pride, it does no good when you're starting out.  Sometimes you just need to follow in other people's footsteps to know what's good and what isn't.  I trust a lot of my card evaluations on theory because I don't have enough time to put everything into practice, but I also miss an awful lot of insight this way.  The best way to learn a format is to play it.  The second best way is to watch others play it.  Copying another player's deck feels so wrong to me, and yet the only way to learn about that deck is to copy it and play with it.  If all you do is play against a certain decktype, you're going to miss critical details that you would know about by playing that deck yourself.

100 classic singleton presents one of the most challenging deck building situations due to the format's deck size and variability.  As such, I've made a lot of errors in deckbuilding.  However I haven't been discouraged by those errors.  I've learned from them.  Here are some of the common deckbuilding errors I've done or witnessed others doing. 

 Deckbuilding    
Mishra's Factory

 

 

Too many colorless utility lands

Mutavault
     

I've often tried to squeeze all kinds of colorless land into my 100 singleton decks because they play double duty.  They act as spells that can't be countered and they provide valuable mana to play your spells.  However if you add too many, you will be stuck with dead cards in your hand just waiting to be stripped away with a Mind TwistWasteland is practically a necessity in any 100 singleton deck because it flat-out wins games, however Tectonic Edge is not quite as powerful. 

Mishra's Factory and Mutavault have won me a lot of games, but they have also cost me lots of games because I've been unable to find the right color of mana I need in a convient time-frame.  This issue becomes especially relevant with Back to Basics in the format. 

Mishra's Factory and Mutavault are a luxury that only mono-colored decks and mono-colored decks with a slight splash can afford.  In other decks they will often get in the way of your other spells.  I learned this the hard way with my heavy red/white goblin aggro deck.  The colorless man-lands meant that there were several games where I couldn't get out my Elspeth, Baneslayer Angel, Siege-Gang Commander, or (Arc Slogger) when I really needed them.  You have a little more flexibility with a green deck, but you can still run into this problem.  Playing too many colorless land is an easy mistake to make.  Playtesting may not reveal this error, because these cards may not always show up.

This is the main difficulty of 100 singleton.  Specific cards in your deck may not show up in combination or together for several matches, so you may not see specific mana-base weaknesses for several games.  That doesn't mean they aren't there.

 

 Deckbuilding    
Thawing Glaciers

 

 

Forgetting why a card is in your deck

Steppe Lynx
     

At one point in time I was testing out the effectiveness of landfall effects in my red/white weenie deck.  To this end I added Thawing Glaciers to the deck as a way to always have landfall triggers for Steppe Lynx, Plated Geopede, Emeria Angel, Zektar Shrine Expedition and Adventuring Gear.  My testing gave me less than impressive results and I ended up scrapping all the landfall creatures except Steppe Lynx and Plated Geopede.  My mistake was that I didn't touch my mana base after changing my deck, and Thawing Glaciers stayed in my deck well after its main usefulness had been removed from the deck.  Thawing Glaciers was marginal when it could provide me with some landfall synergy, but it was downright awful in an aggro deck without that synergy.

I've done similar things with tutors.  This is especially true with Enlightened Tutor, when I've made cuts to an aggro deck to the point where Enlightened Tutor looks like a really bad Steelshaper's Gift.  Do not try that at home.

Whenever you make changes to your deck, check out all the cards in your deck to make sure there is a still a reason for them. 

 Deckbuilding    
Kor Firewalker

 

 

Not planning around hate cards

Pyrite Spellbomb
     

All red decks should know about and anticipate running into Kor Firewalker.  In 100 Singleton there are several ways to deal with this pesky little creature, including but not limited to Pyrite Spellbomb, Cursed Scroll, Barbarian Ring, and Ghostfire.  Every good red deck should be playing a couple of these answers, and a failure to do so will get you a couple of game losses here and there. 

You should also anticipate and prepare for other common forms of hate such as Dwarven Miner, Blood Moon, Hydroblast, Tivadar of Thorn, (Hybernation), and Choke.  Many top 100 singleton players limit the amount of dual lands they have in their deck to limit their susceptibility to nonbasic hate, as that is one of the most common forms of hate in 100 singleton.

 Deckbuilding    
Oblivion Ring

 

 

Trying to have an answer for everything

Moat
     

 

If you play Moat then I'll just play Acidic Slime or Qasali Pridemage.  If you have a counterspell, I'll retrieve my creature with Genesis and try it again.  If you play Humility, then I'll counter with Krosan Grip.  If you then have Dovescape, I'll burn you out with Banefire.  If you've got the Painter Grindstone combo, I'll counter it with Gaea's Blessing.  If you've got burn, I've got a Loxodon Hierarch for that situation.

This is a line of thinking that I've caught myself using over and over again.  Have you noticed the problem with this argument?  The problem is that I'm focusing so much on countering my opponent's strategy that I've completely forgotten my own strategy.  If I'm playing an aggressive deck and my opponent is playing the control deck, then I'm the one that is supposed to be asking the questions.  Krosan Grip may triumphantly save the day against a Moat and allow me to trample all over my opponent in a glorious fashion, but then there is going to be those games when Krosan Grip sits in my hand doing nothing while my opponent is striking me down with a Baneslayer Angel.  Control decks generally win the long games and aggro decks generally win the short game.  An aggro deck's responsibility is to end the game quickly before a control deck stabilizes, and this generally means that it should be creating threats of all shape and size, and not worrying about countering whatever the control deck is trying to accomplish.  If a control deck taps out for a Moat, then that's a good time to play Sulfuric Vortex or an Elspeth or just start aiming burn at your opponent's head.  It's not a pretty solution, and it doesn't feel like you're out smarting your opponent, but this strategy is consistant and it will win you games.   

 

 Deckbuilding    
Natural Order

 

 

Juggling too many plans at one time

Scapeshift
     

"Jack of many trades, master of none."  

This is the description of many of my old 100 classic singleton decks.  I admit that I am a bit too attached to winning with creatures.  Most of my decks involve swinging with creatures, which naturally means I'm going usually going for aggro decks.  The problem is that beyond the theme of "winning with creatures" my decks were all over the map.  I would devote some cards to combo creatures, so cards to pure aggro creatures, some cards to utility creatures, and some cards to defensive creatures.  This would generally mean that I would have some very interesting games in which I was always trying to best utilize my creatures in order to win.  However, my deck was more designed for drawing games out and making them interesting than going for the straight forward victory.  I had moderate success with my decks, and I won more than I lost.  Still, I didn't have that cutthroat attitude.  My decks didn't go for the kill and flat-out win.  My decks would often drag things out and I would end up winning by the skin of my teeth or losing horribly.  I remember playing in the weekend events several times and ending up with good but not great final records.  I have a long string of 3-2 finishes and I have yet to make the top 8.  At the same time I don't think I've ever done worse than 2-3 at the weekend challenges. 

One example of this in my red white deck is Land Tax and Seismic Assault. They are both decent cards and Land Tax is really useful in many situations, but in a very aggressive creature and burn deck, this combo often becomes clunky and lackluster.  I believe that it definitely has a place in a 100 singleton deck, but it would be much more at home in a red, white, and blue deck that can afford to be a little more controlling and have a way to protect both enchantments with counterspells.

When dealing with a game of luck, moderate success is the worst situation to deal with when trying to improve your game.  When you flat out fail, you know you have to change, there is no argument against it.  Things aren't working, and change is the obvious and only answer if you wish to succeed.  When you're very successful, then change is simply the process of identifying the few mistakes you've made and trying to erase them as best you can.  When you're moderately successful, it's difficult to identify what's working and what isn't working.  Worse yet, you tend to get comfortable with the status quo.  "Sure, I may not be making the top 8 of the weekend event, but at least I'm bringing home 3 packs in prizes."  This kind of attitude is poisonous if you are trying to get better.  This was my attitude and it is something I've been trying to deal with over the past 2 months.  Since then, I've raised both my constructed and limited ratings above 1815 and kept them in the 1815 to 1850 range consistently.  I have also qualified for a MOCS for the first time ever.  It may not seem like much to many of you, but it was my personal goal, and I reached it.

 Deckbuilding    
Entomb

 

 

Decking building based on Big Hairy Ideas

Exhume
     

For a while I was obsessed with the perfect Entomb draw.  Turn 1 play entomb to fetch a huge monstrosity like Sphinx of the Steel Wind and then turn 2 play a reanimation spell like Animate Dead, ReanimateLife/Death, or Exhume to bring it back for a victory.  This plan is so simple and yet so appealing that modern big huge threats now have shuffling clauses to make sure they aren't used in this way.  The problem with this strategy is that Entomb is just one card in 100, and the Entomb combo rarely happens on its own.  This means that you're going to need a back-up plan most of the time.  The problem comes when you put together 20 cards to fit around your master plan and fill out the rest of your deck with generally really good cards.

In my Boros goblin deck I was obsessed with Balefire Liege for a while.  In my desire to win with flare rather than to just win, I was trying very hard to make him work, and going out of my way to make him good.  I would use every victory him created as justification for his presence in the deck while ignoring losses where he didn't do much for me.  In the end, I was trying to hard to make him work.  He's a very fun card, but he's about 1 mana too expensive for the format.

Big hairy ideas are not necessarily bad, but they need to be deep enough to support an entire deck.  Building a deck based on the card Entomb is bad, however building a deck off of the concept of reanimation can be very good.  Building a deck around Pestermite and (Kiki-Jiki the Mirror Breaker) is bad, but building a deck around red and blue weenies is good.  Similarly Survival of the Fittest and Recurring Nightmare are great cards, but if your deck can't function without either, it's going to be bad. 

Control decks that use combos are little different than Big Hairy Idea decks.  Often the exact mechanism of the win in a control deck is not as important as taking control of the game and stopping your opponent from doing much of anything.  What I call Big Hairy Idea decks are decks that arise from the deckbuilding saying, hmm, I wish I had a deck that could do ____fill_in_the_blank_____ because that's awesome.     

 Deckbuilding    
Opposition

 

 

Giving up on an idea too soon

One Dozen Eyes
     

100 Singleton decks are very hard to playtest, because a big portion of the deck will not show up in any given game.  Therefore the impact of minor changes to the deck may not show up for several games.  If a deck originally doesn't pan out, it's easy to give up on the idea because changing a few cards in a 100 card deck isn't going to have a huge impact unless those cards are heavily searched for cards like dual lands or Engineered Explosives.

 Deckbuilding    
Tinker

 

 

Evolving a deck after each 2-man match

Twitch
     

"I wish I had _________ card in my deck."

"If I could have just tutored for or drawn ___________ card, I would have won."

How many times have you had thoughts like these?  I've had them all the time.  At one point in time I would switch out 2-3 cards after each 2 man queue I entered in order to gear my deck towards the deck I just faced.  In the short term, this works.  The 100 singleton queues fire so infrequently, that you are likely to get a rematch if you keep joining the queue over and over again.  On the other hand, if you keep doing this, you're bound to create a deck with lots of anti-synergistic elements and a deck with little to no focus.  

A loss is a loss, and it doesn't mean that you need to immediately change your deck to have a better game against the deck you just faced.  Sometimes you just had a bad draw.  Sometime your opponent just had an exceptionally good draw.  If you change your deck too frequently you are probably going to replace past deckbuilding mistakes with new ones. 

     
Coastal Piracy

 

 

Meta-Gaming

Bribery
     

Choosing the right deck for the right situation is not easy.  Sometimes that deck involves playing with a strategy that you're not comfortable with.  I tend to prefer creature based decks over control based decks.  However if I limit myself to creature based strategies, there will always be times where I will have the wrong deck at the wrong time.  Here are some of the common Meta-Gaming mistakes that I've either made or witnessed.

 Meta-Gaming    
Unstable Mutation

 

 

Choosing to use an untested Meta-Game Deck

Wall of Denial
     

I would say that you don't really know a typical constructed deck until you've played it at least 20 games.  With 100 classic singleton, it takes many more games to learn a deck.  I've been surprised to find new interactions between cards in some decks that I've played for years.  It might be tempting to choose a deck that has a good match-up against the decks that won last week's premier event, but if you don't have much time to playtest that deck, it's probably a bad idea.  Meta-game advantages are often slim in 100 singleton, and a well-tuned well-practiced deck will beat a good meta-game deck any day of the week.  There is no substitute for playing experience with a deck. 

 Meta-Gaming    
Armageddon

 

 

Not shifting your deck to face a known meta-game threat

Goblin Matron
     

100 Classic Singleton is a much smaller pond than block constructed or standard.  Therefore knowing the metagame is extremely important.  As I noted before, it takes time to tune and practice with a new deck.  Therefore the metagame shifts relatively slowly.  Sure, the top 8 of the weekend challenge may change quite a bit from week to week.  However the 50-100 players that actively play in the queues and in the weekend challenges don't switch decks very quickly.  Many players, myself included, have pet decks that we like to play over and over again, which means that there is to a certain extend, a metagame that is somewhat resistant to change.  You can either take advantage of this fact or be the victim of it.  So, look at the decks that players are playing and take notes, then compare that to who is registered or who has played in the 2-man queues recently.  That way you can get an rough idea of the metagame before a tournament or before you enter a 2-man queue.

     
Guerrilla Tactics

 

 

Playing

Strongarm Tactics
     

Some playing mistakes are easy to see, some are not.  Mentally I replaced the text of Primal Command's put target noncreature permanent on top of its owner's library with "Plow Under for one, that can also hit planeswalkers, enchantments, and artifacts."  Can you guess what's wrong with that mental short cut.  Yep, on at least two occasions I've targeted a man-land with Primal Command only to have it fizzle when my opponent animated that land.  Wow, that's the kind of mistake that makes a guy feel really stupid. 

However that's not the type of mistakes I want to talk about.  I'm talking about more subtle mistakes.  The kind of mistakes that you could make an argument that they aren't really mistakes. You could argue that they were simply choices that ended poorly.  However, when those choices end up with lost matches over and over again, it becomes clear that those choices are true mistakes that better players avoid.  

 Playing    
Weathered Wayfarer

 

 

The Mulligan "What if?" game

Goblin Recruiter
     

Most players look at a hand and start to think about the best case scenarios.  "This hand would be perfect if I draw a land in the first two turns."  Don't play this game.  Instead look at the worst case scenario.  What if I don't draw what I need?  Will this hand lose unconditionally without help?  It's generally not a good idea to be pessimistic, but a little pessimism goes a long way with mulligan decisions.

 Playing    
Mind Twist

 

 

Thinking cards in your hand are safe

Armageddon
     

One of the basic strategies of limited play is to save some of your biggest threats for later because your opponent will most likely be able to deal with your first threat with the one and only removal spell in his hand.  This strategy fails A LOT in 100 classic singleton because your lands aren't safe and the cards in your hand aren't safe.  In sealed deck and draft it's hard to attack these zones.  In 100 classic singleton Mind Twists get tossed around like footballs and Armageddon is way of life for players.

 Playing    
Enlightened Tutor

 

 

Tutoring for the wrong card

Eladamri's Call
     

I've seen many players use tutors on auto-pilot.  Enlightened Tutor can fetch more than Moat and Primal Command can fetch more than Eternal Witness.  It may look like the optimal play, and I've seen players use it as a default non-thinking option, but there are are often better options given the state of the board. 

     
Pyroblast

 

 

Sideboarding

Hydroblast
     

Sideboards are the most underutilized part of the game.

The toughest part of sideboarding is knowing what to take out.  Sideboarding should be about making your deck the best possible deck for facing your opponent.  If your sideboard does nothing but tweak your deck, it's not doing enough. 

 Sideboarding    
Krosan Grip

 

 

Including sideboard cards in my main deck

Sword of Light and Shadow
     

Krosan Grip is a sideboard card against control decks.  It shouldn't be in the main deck.  Don't put potentially dead cards in your main deck, unless you have a very good grasp of the metagame.  I've done it, and I've regretted it.

 Sideboarding    
Relic of Progenitus

 

 

Sideboarding on the fly

Pyroblast
     

Always have a sideboard plan against the likely decks you will face.  The last thing you want to do is to be looking through a 100 card deck looking for cards to take out on the fly in order to make room for obvious hate cards. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  I know, that line is a bit cliched, but it is very true.

------------------------------------------

Here is my current Boros Goblin deck.  I've put it down for the time being because there are so many clones of So Many Troll's white blue anti-red deck running around, but before I put it down for that metagame reason, I've made some substantial improvements to it.

 

 

Boros Red White
by Shuyin Knight of Zanarkand
Creatures
1 Greater Gargadon
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Weathered Wayfarer
1 Hell's Thunder
1 Imperial Recruiter
1 Plated Geopede
1 Goblin Warchief
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Murderous Redcap
1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
1 Hellspark Elemental
1 Changeling Berserker
1 Brion Stoutarm
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Steppe Lynx
1 Arc-Slogger
1 Kor Firewalker
1 Ranger of Eos
1 Goblin Matron
1 Figure of Destiny
1 Sparksmith
1 Goblin Ruinblaster
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Goblin Recruiter
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
1 Kor Skyfisher
1 Goblin Chieftain
1 Emeria Angel
1 Goblin Bushwhacker
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Reveillark
1 Goblin Guide
1 Goblin Lackey
1 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Goblin Legionnaire
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Goblin Ringleader
1 Goblin Piledriver
39 cards

Other Spells
1 Journey to Nowhere
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Lightning Helix
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Ravages of War
1 Incinerate
1 Cursed Scroll
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Path to Exile
1 Ajani Vengeant
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Tarfire
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Char
1 Fireblast
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Adventuring Gear
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Magma Jet
1 Æther Vial
1 Burst Lightning
21 cards
 
Lands
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Flooded Strand
1 Barbarian Ring
4 Mountain
4 Plains
1 Smoldering Spires
4 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Karakas
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Windbrisk Heights
1 Wasteland
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Keldon Megaliths
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Rugged Prairie
1 Ghitu Encampment
1 Mutavault
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Gruul Turf
1 Boros Garrison
1 Marsh Flats
1 Plateau
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Arid Mesa
39 cards

Figure of Destiny

 

It's still a work in progress, but now it is focused on beating down with weenie creatures.  I've dismantled my enlightened tutor combo engine because it often distracts me from my aggro goals.  I've upped the land count for more consistency, and added more white and colorless removal to deal with anti-red hate.  It's far from perfect, and right now it's a poor meta-game choice, but in my mind, it's still an improvement.  And if you're always getting better, success is unavoidable. 

-------------------------------------------

Thanks for Reading,

 - Marcus, Shuyin Knight of Zanarkand on Magic Online

10 Comments

first off shame on you for by JustSin at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 02:14
JustSin's picture
5

first off shame on you for getting my hopes up with the Princess Bride picture, but no funny quote to back it up

this here is an article that I'll probably revisit several times, whether or not this deck is successful is almost a null point because I think this article has a stronger showing in its explanation of common pitfalls in deck building... sure I hope it works well for you, but I read through these and saw some of the same mistakes I've made before when toying with a deck, I'm going to reread this again because I'm sure there was some tip I glanced over lol, but it's really some good stuff

"Have fun storming the by ArchGenius at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 09:17
ArchGenius's picture

"Have fun storming the castle."

"My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die."

"You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles."

Yes, the Princess Bride is an amazing movie. The reason I included that picture is because Vizzini's decision making process seemed an awful lot like what I was doing when I was trying to come up with answers to what my opponent is doing, when all along he's playing a different game. He has built up an immunity to Iocane powder.

For reference, I looked up the entire dialogue....

Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You've made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait til I get going! Now, where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're just stalling now.
Vizzini: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.
Vizzini: IT HAS WORKED! YOU'VE GIVEN EVERYTHING AWAY! I KNOW WHERE THE POISON IS!
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will, and I choose - What in the world can that be?
Vizzini: [Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. Roberts looks. Vizzini swaps the goblets]
Man in Black: What? Where? I don't see anything.
Vizzini: Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.First, let's drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.
Man in Black, Vizzini: [Vizzini and the Man in Black drink ]
Man in Black: You guessed wrong.
Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha...
Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly,his smile frozen on his face and falls to the right out of camera dead]
Buttercup: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.
Man in Black: They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.

that's more like it! by JustSin at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 09:20
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that's more like it!

The whole point of the by Lord Erman at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 02:43
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5

The whole point of the article and your thoughts on building a better 100CS deck aside, what I found interesting in this article is this:

So a man with a decent job who also has a family and a life, can raise his rating up to 1850 and qualify for MOCS, eh? That was really encouraging. I never thought that this would be possible for people like me. I always thought MOCS and such stuff are for students and people with huge spare time. Now you proved otherwise. That might not change much for me right now but I will have it somewhere in my mind.

Thank you!

LE

To be honest, I did have a by ArchGenius at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 09:10
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To be honest, I did have a week of vacation that I had to use or lose, so that gave me some extra playing time. Of course I spent a lot of that week looking after my wife and daughter when my wife was sick and I also spent a lot my time that week helping her with her childcare. Still I did have some extra time to play, and my wife didn't mind me playing more than usual because I was helping her out quite a bit that week.

Of course actually playing in the MOCS is not going to happen for me. I will gladly take the opt-out prize as a 10 round tournament on Mother's Day weekend is definitely something that would get me into trouble with my family.

So your claim that MOCS are for students and people with huge amounts of spare time still has a lot of validity.

Really great article Markus! by Paul Leicht at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 05:55
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Really great article Markus! Very on point. If I played 100s I would certainly be interested in the decks but even though I don't I still enjoyed the thought processes. I have a friend who used to claim that I deliberately balanced my decks against each other while playing my gf. I didn't see it. But then one day I realized my main metagame was based on our daily games in the diner. I would see an interaction between decks, think on it and then work out solutions. Very rarely were these games one sided. Usually they would go over long as we stalemated until a top deck came along to wreck everything. Tweaking and changing decks is definitely a fine art that can be overdone or done carelessly, causing unforeseen consequences. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the qualifying. Hope you win it all :D

Thank you for the praise, I'm by ArchGenius at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 10:48
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Thank you for the praise, I'm glad you enjoyed my article.

I knew I liked you for a by hamtastic at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 18:54
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I knew I liked you for a reason.... The Red Green show is an amazing Canadian export to my home country (USA!!!). I've laughed countless hours thinking of my father being the main character. Great, great, great! Oh yeah... a good article too!
Red Green and Princess Bridge by Raddman at Fri, 05/07/2010 - 17:43
Raddman's picture

Red Green and Princess Bride in the same article, say it isn't so!!!!

It might be time for me to search Netflix for good ole Red Green, how I miss the duct tape VCR Clothesline.

Ya know, I've never played this format, but I really enjoyed the article!

Great article. =) Personally, by Tarmotog at Fri, 05/07/2010 - 22:19
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5

Great article. =)

Personally, I do tend to tweak my deck often after 2 mans but not to beat the previous deck. Playing with different cards can be quite a good way to learn. Doing so will expose the various weaknesses of the deck (if the feedback is negative) but on the flip side, you might have a better deck to play with. 100c Singleton decks evolve all the time and that allows everyone to play their own decks since it is almost impossible to dominate a format with one particular deck.

I find that RW is a very color demanding archetype which is difficult to support given how the cards in the deck demand for specific mana in the early game. They should continue to make more enemy lands...